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The Best of the Rest

 
#1 The Best of the Rest
12/10/2004 14:42

Andy

I recently graduated with a 1st from Durham University in a biology-based Natural Sciences degree, and am currently researching a career in consultancy. My extra-curricular achievements are reasonable, but not necessarily that exceptional, and my work experience hasn't really been business-related (e.g. a studentship in a Nuclear Power station). Can anyone advise me on where I should realistically be aiming my applications? So far, I've secured a first-round interview with Accenture and been rejected from McKinseys. Which companies are on the tier slightly below these top firms? I'm particularly interested in the smaller boutique firms, with a view to possibly specialising in creativity, and probably leaning away from strategy. Are there any stand-outs among the long list of these companies provided in the top-consultant report, or are they all broadly the same?

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#2 1st from Durham - suggestions
13/10/2004 12:49

Tony Restell (Top-Consultant)

Andy - congratulations on getting a 1st from Durham University. Most consulting firms (the vast majority) will view this as putting you high enough up the academic standings to secure an interview. A few of the most elite firms will be looking for people with a 1st from Oxbridge. This is really a reflection of the fact that they are only recruiting a dozen or so graduates each year and so can afford to be this elitist (and also because they only have such a modest intake, they don't need to spread themselves beyond Oxbridge to get the hires they need).

<br><br>

I would suggest all the big full-service firms would be interested in interviewing you - Accenture, PA Consulting, Capgemini, Deloitte, PwC, IBM, etc. The top-tier of strategy firms (McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Booz Allen, Roland Berger, Monitor, OC&C) tend to have the highest recruiting hurdles and with these firms you will find that some will interview you and others will not. Pretty much all the smaller firms will be interested in interviewing someone with a 1st from Durham.

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My advice would be to interview with (and therefore apply to) a range of large firms and small firms. Once you go through the assessment days and interview procedures you will I'm sure be surprised that clear &quot;winners&quot; emerge. Some firms you will really take a liking to, because you are a great fit for their culture. Others that you might have been attracted to on paper you will suddenly feel are not nearly as interesting to you.

<br><br>

Hope that helps Andy - and good luck.

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#3 Re: Consulting Applications
14/10/2004 19:38

Andy

Okay, that's excellent. Thankyou very much for your help. If anyone has any positive or negative insights on any of the smaller firms, I'd welcome them as well.

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